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Sheboygan Lakefront – 9 March 2024


 The field trip participants gathered at 8:00 AM in Kohler-Andrae State Park at the Sanderling Nature Center parking lot.  The skies were clear and sunny and the temperature at 33 degrees, but with a chilly wind blowing out of the northwest.  This field trip was following on the heels of a mild winter and early spring, so our expectations were not high.  After taking attendance, figuring out carpooling arrangements, and passing out radios we headed north.

Sheboygan Lakefront field trip 2024 Great Tit Matt Klemme Sheboygans Indian Mounds Park


Our first stop was Indian Mounds Park, where we walked the trails and along adjacent city streets to check out the bird activity.  Our main target here was GREAT TIT, and we did finally manage to find one when it landed in branches right over the road.  Unfortunately, only about half of our people were able to get a look, since it didn’t stay there very long and it flew behind some houses across the street.

We found a total of 23 species there, including SHARP-SHINNED HAWK, 3 species of WOODPECKERPURPLE and HOUSE FINCHESPINE SISKINAMERICAN GOLDFINCHDARK-EYED JUNCO, and COMMON GRACKLE over an hour and a quarter.  Our next stop was to visit gas station bathrooms just down the road.

From there we headed to the Sheboygan Marina, but found that the waterfowl present were pretty sparse – mostly MALLARDS, with a few RED-BREASTED MERGANSERS and CANADA GEESE.  The only GULLS present were a few RING-BILLED and HERRING.  Just across the street we found two pairs of EURASIAN COLLARED-DOVES.  Several other birds were present, but nothing too exciting.

Sheboygan Lakefront field trip 2024 <b>Surf Scoter</b> Matt Klemme Sheboygan North Point


Our next stop was at Sheboygan’s North Point, with pretty good waves rolling in from offshore – which had brought out a number of surfers in wet suits.  Quite appropriately, one of the first birds we spotted swimming offshore was a SURF SCOTER!  Other ducks were not numerous, but we found a few RED-BREASTED MERGANSERSCOMMON GOLDENEYES, and BUFFLEHEADS.

The group then wandered over to the wave-washed limestone outcropping near the pavilion, where a number of GULLS were sitting and landing.  Most of them were RING-BILLED, with a few HERRING GULLS also, but also present were a couple of “THAYER’S” ICELAND GULLS, which provided good scope views.

Sheboygan field trip 2024 3 9 2859 Sheboygan North Point



After returning to Kohler-Andrae State Park to pick up the other vehicles, many in the group drove north to Manitowoc.  We parked near the S. S. Badger ferry port to scan the waters of the harbor.  Sitting on the breakwall among a group of HERRING GULLS were three adult GREAT BLACK-BACKED GULLS, along with a LESSER BLACK-BACKED which unfortunately didn’t stay very long.  Also present were a couple of GLAUCOUS GULLS.  DUCKS present included GREATER SCAUPCOMMON GOLDENEYE, and RED-BREASTED MERGANSER.

Sheboygan Lakefront field trip 2024 Red breasted Merganser Vinod Baskaran Sheboygan


We wrapped up the field trip about 1:20 PM, with the skies now clouded over and the temperature up a bit to 38 and strong NW winds still blowing.  For the day, we ended up with a total of 39 bird species.  Thanks to everyone who participated, and to Jeff Baughman for co-leading this trip.

Tom Schultz, WSO Field Trips